1932 interview with Kronprinz Friedrich Wilhelm

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The best part about interviews at this time in history is the lack of editing and closeups on just the face.

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Page F30 poll results: What will happen to Catalonia, and which languages do you enjoy hearing sung?

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Time to get rid of the two polls that are still up. This first one was about the future of Catalonia, and here it is sorted by popularity:

1) Will remain in Spain, will increase autonomy 22 (36%)
2) Will remain in Spain, little to no change 15 (25%)
3) Will separate from Spain, accompanied by violent events 11 (18%)
4) Will peacefully separate from Spain 8 (13%)
5) Will remain in Spain, will lose some / all autonomy 4 (6%)

Votes so far: 60
Poll closed

My vote was #1.



And the second one was about which languages sound best in dubbed music - Disney, that sort of thing. The dubbed part is important because I think there are some languages that sound nice when sung in music originally composed in the language, but always end up sounding awkward when sung in a translated version of an English song. Italian and Japanese are two that come to mind as awkward languages, while the vowel-swallowing French and Portuguese tend to incorporate them more naturally.

And now to the poll:

Which languages consistently sound best in dubbed music (Disney, etc.)?


French (France) 40 (17%)
German (Germany) 25 (10%)
Norwegian 25 (10%)
Swedish 25 (10%)
Norwegian 25 (10%)
Arabic 20 (8%)
Spanish (Latin America) 19 (8%)
Italian 19 (8%)
Japanese 19 (8%)
Spanish (Latin America) 19 (8%)
Russian 16 (6%)
Polish 16 (6%)
Turkish 15 (6%)
Danish 15 (6%)
Portuguese (Portugal) 14 (6%)
Spanish (Spain) 14 (6%)
Dutch (Netherlands) 13 (5%)
Portuguese (Brazil) 13 (5%)
Finnish 13 (5%)
Hungarian 13 (5%)
Estonian 12 (5%)
Korean 11 (4%)
Greek 10 (4%)
Ukrainian 10 (4%)
Icelandic 10 (4%)
Bulgarian 8 (3%)
Mandarin (China) 8 (3%)
Cantonese 7 (3%)
French (Canada) 6 (2%)
Hebrew 6 (2%)
Lithuanian 6 (2%)
Catalan 5 (2%)
Croatian 5 (2%)
Czech 5 (2%)
Latvian 5 (2%)
Malaysian 5 (2%)
Thai 5 (2%)
Romanian 5 (2%)
Mandarin (Taiwan) 5 (2%)
German (Austria) 5 (2%)
Dutch (Flemish) 4 (1%)
Serbian 3 (1%)
Slovak 3 (1%)
Slovene 3 (1%)
Vietnamese 2 (0%)

Votes so far: 232

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French used most in businesses in Luxembourg

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

This article has a few numbers on the language preferences for businesses in Luxembourg, where French is in first place due in large part to a larger number of people from France and Belgium coming to work (3.5 times more than 20 years ago).

Cette présence de plus en plus forte de la langue française tient sans aucun doute au fait que les travailleurs frontaliers se sont vus multipliés par 3,5 sur les 20 dernières années. Les trois-quarts viennent de France et de Belgique...Un sondage réalisé auprès de "265 chefs et dirigeants d'entreprises actives dans l'ensemble des secteurs économiques du Luxembourg" place ainsi le français en tête des langues au Luxembourg. En effet, 55.8% des entreprises interrogées utilisent le français comme langue principale. Le luxembourgeois arrive en deuxième place avec 20%, puis suivent l'anglais à 17.7% et l'allemand à 4.9%. Le français se trouve, avec 68,2% en tête des langues parlées au travail par les résidents, suivi du luxembourgeois, à 60.5%.
Since Luxemburgish is so close to German I always just add them together. So 55.8% French, 24.9% German or almost German, then English at 17.7%.

I've been taking a close look at the situation of German-speaking Belgium over the past few weeks, considering Belgium's constitutional crises it always seems to face every few years, because were Flanders and Wallonia to ever go their separate ways the question of German-speaking Belgium is always one that remains unanswered. That part of Belgium used to be part of the German Empire, and in the event of a breakup there is little reason to suspect that it would choose to join Wallonia, or France. The three possibilities usually mentioned are:

1) Become an independent micro-state
2) Join Germany
3) Join Luxembourg

Option 3 is apparently appealing because of the higher salaries and pensions in Luxembourg compared to Germany. On the other hand, even a tiny region of just 70,000 people would be a big addition to a country of that size, and could turn it from a 'half French, half German, 100% Luxembourgish' kind of atmosphere into more of a stronger German, Holy Roman Empire successor state kind of feel.

Or not. Corrections are welcome if this assumption is wrong.

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More Scots, academic this time

Saturday, July 11, 2015

I've posted a video of Scots before to show what it's like to listen to a closely-related language, an experience that English speakers rarely get to have. Speakers of other languages such as Portuguese, Serbian, Bulgarian, Norwegian etc. get to hear related languages much more frequently.

The last one I posted was a chapter of the New Testament, but this sample is even more interesting as it is about a modern subject.

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Þ-Þ-Þák!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

How to chide your son in 15th century Norway for not speaking properly:

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